Hot Flash Friday – OutSmarting Your Teen 101 (Again)

Are you stalking your beloved hormone infused adolescent on social media???


You should. Because this is where I find out about the latest stuff that they are in to and some tricks and tips for us parents that we NEED to know.

You can read about the sites your teenage daughter is probably on here.

My friends, the latest prank is messing with the shortcuts on your smart phone. So when you are texting or messaging someone and you type in a word like ‘sure’ it could magically change to ‘f#$ck yeah’ or in the case of one of my daughter’s friends, her boyfriend’s name change magically to ‘gorgeous penis’.


When she texted her mom if ‘gorgeous penis’ could come over for dinner, uh, um, well, you can imagine.

So how do you make shortcuts, where are they in your settings, and what are they good for??? Here you go.

First open your SETTINGS app in your iPhone(I am using this as this is what I have) and go to


Then go to KEYBOARD

Once in Keyboard, making sure the Shortcuts are turned on, you can add some shortcuts. You can also monitor this area for any monkey business from your teen…

Some great shortcuts are for when you want to fill in blanks on forms on your smartphone which are a pain to do. I have created some quickies so that I can do that. For instance:

Go to ADD NEW SHORTCUT and put in your Phrase that you want to create a shortcut for-like your name. I did mine then created the shortcut that I could remember like xx.

Then add your email and call it em,

Then add your address and call it ad. And so forth.

You can do this however you want to remember it. So the next time you need to fill something our from your smart phone and that teensy fakata keypad you will be way happier!

So if you are texting someone and are trying to say Okay, and the word ‘love muffin’ keeps coming up, you have been shortcut hacked by your loving teenager.

Once again, a social media public service for my fellow harried parents of teens!





The 7 Sites Your Teenage Daughter is on Now

Or, how to stalk your teen on the internet.

So I shared a blog post yesterday on Facebook by a mom of boys that basically said to teenage girls-watch what you post photo-wise on social networks. Because if the photo is a selfie that is provocative, racy, etc. it sets a bad example for girls and that male teens can no longer ‘unsee’ that photo once they have viewed it.

They are more likely to post a photo of themselves.....
They are more likely to post a photo of themselves…..

Boy, was there some push back on this post. Which I am surprised about.

At the end of the day, male teenagers are inherently horny creatures and very visual. And I agree with this mom. Whether you like that or not. And if you have your head in the sand and think that your darling daughter has not posted at least one sex-kitten photo of herself at least once, I have news for ya.

I have a teenage daughter. That I have had to police on social media. Who has not always posted the most flattering photos, on occasion. So I got educated really quick on the other sites these girls visiting.

It also takes a village. Communication with other tech savvy parents helps and we keep tabs on the kids. And I am going to give you a BIG hint here-have a trusted young relative friend your daughter on these social networks (because they will always friend their young cool cousins, etc) and have them notify you if they see anything graphic, dangerous, promiscuous, etc. It works.

That’s where I am going with this today.

Pew Research states that teens are sharing more and more on social media:

Teens are sharing more details about themselves on social media profiles, but few do so publicly; 60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private

Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned

Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.

-there is no fear. I have asked and these are the answers (at least in the teen world in this house-this article confirms this) and I will tell you how to access them.


Where the GIRLS are today on social media:

1. Facebook: Who isn’t on this? And frankly, their demographic has aged– the most frequent users of Facebook right now are women 18-49. The older demo is catching up quick as well. Lately, most teens are not using Facebook as often as in the past – mainly because us old farts are on there. Yeah, we’ve ruined that for them. They also have learned how to use Facebook correctly and in most cases, keep it drama free. Easy to access, free sign up.

2. Twitter: If you are not on Twitter as a parent, you should be. The sign up is free. You do not need to understand it. All you need to do is sign up and start searching your kid’s name, or their friends names. They have become smart with this service, creating hard to find names and twitter handles, but with a little creativity, and if you find one friend and look at their followers, or who they are following, you will most likely strike gold. They’ve learned to lock their accounts down-if they’ve done that, ask why. This is how they communicate where the parties are, new relationships, aggravations, parent trashing, break ups, bullying and more. It is how authorities broke the case in Ohio of the high school girl who was raped by members of a football team there. Kids still are not too smart, these guys posted pictures and comments in their own names and this was presented at court.

This photo was tweeted by the rapists in this case. Nice
This photo was tweeted by the rapists in this case. Nice

3. Instagram: While this was primarily designed as a photo-sharing social site, teens have found it as an alternative to Facebook. Less chatter, photos only, easy to access and is the selfie capital of the internet. It’s also the place where you will find the raciest selfie’s on the planet. This is also a free service and many teens use the same handle as their Twitter one-so they are pretty easy to find. You can also lock down your account here as well as find and look at who’s following whom. This is also a must be on site for parents. This blog post by my favorite blogger, The Bearded Iris, will set your hair on fire. Read it.

Credit- In The Powder Room
Credit- In The Powder Room


4. Tumblr: Where the teen girls are. This is a micro-blogging service and is free. If you want to write a lengthy post this is not the place to do it. Mainly photo sharing and gifs and only about 6% of all internet users are on it. Teens are really creative at this one because no one uses their real name and they change their blog title all the time so it’s hard to keep up with them. The few sites I have landed on that I know the girls are mostly emotional photos, romantic photos and gifs, some racy some not and if you suspect your teen is having emotional problems they tend to spew it all over this service. It takes some detective work to find your teen on this, if they tell you then you are in good shape, if not, ask other moms (many of whom have no idea their kids are on this service).

This is a gif:

5. Vine: Like Instagram, only with 6 second videos. You follow people, they follow back. You take a video with your smart phone with the Vine app and then Vine posts it. Here’s what I have found. My teen and her friends have not really taken to this service like some of the others. Especially since you can now use video on Instagram. Handles are much like or the same as Twitter. Easy to find your kid as well as their friends. I find it annoying-that’s just me.

6. Snap Chat: This app is downloaded on to a Smart phone. Users take a picture then send it as a text to someone else. The photo can last for 1-10 seconds when you go to view it. Teens like it because of the spontaneity. They also think that the photo will not last, but guess what, technology has caught up with that and there are now hacking programs that have found that the photo is still actually on the phone. Also, photos can be saved in that time to the recipient’s phone and shared with who knows who later. It has also been called the ‘sexting app’. Great. Bullies love it too. Be aware that this is becoming really popular with the kids. This is when I think setting data limits on phones is a good idea because it will eat up data… Here is a great parent’s guide.

7. Ask.Fm: Relatively new. You can join for free as well. This is the next FormSpring (Anthony Weiner’s favorite social network, which I HATED-kids ask questions, kids answer, kids post nasty things, let the bullying ensue). Your teen signs up then asks a question, others answer. Or, they say ‘Ask me a question” and there it goes. It has been named the new bullying site. You can’t just snoop around on this site without logging in and creating an account.

Most sites state that you have to be 13 to join. They don’t police that very well. Personally I think that schools need to do a required seminar on this topic by the 9th grade. I know private schools have clear rules for social media but most public do not-especially in our area. Teens tweet and Instagram from school all day long, it’s a wonder they learn anything at all. Just like the sex talk, the social media talk is part of our duty now.

Teens are like ants. Once you shut down or infiltrate a social media service they just move to the latest new thing. If their account is locked and you did not know that-ask why. If you, as a parent, are not tech savvy, do not be ignorant. Many local schools have parent classes on social media and there are great sites like that explain these sites in detail.

Don’t get me going on the privacy issue with teens. They aren’t writing in a diary that they lock and put in their desk drawer. They are on public sites. You can’t count on them to be 100% safe no matter how locked down you or they think their site is. Google your daughter-her most recent posts on the big 3-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram usually show up.

These are my opinions and my limited research. I have referenced sites that I think are helpful here in the post. Thanks!


I love sharing!